PMA represents the world’s leading maritime companies operating on the West Coast, consisting of 70 ocean carriers and terminal operators. On behalf of its member companies, PMA negotiates and administers the coastwise maritime labor agreement with the ILWU.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union represents waterfront employees throughout the West Coast. More than 15,500 ILWU members – including longshore workers, clerks, and foremen – are employed at West Coast ports.
Comprising 29 ports from San Diego to Bellingham, Washington, the West Coast waterfront serves as a vital gateway between the U.S. and Asia. These ports are essential to the stability and growth of the U.S. economy, supporting consumer, industrial, and agricultural sectors throughout the country. At the state level, West Coast ports play a significant economic role in California, Oregon and Washington.
As the preeminent gateway between the U.S. and Asia, the 29 West Coast ports are a powerful economic engine, processing about one million tons of cargo each day. The impact extends far beyond the docks: West Coast port activity supports nearly 12.5 million jobs nationwide and accounts for nearly 9% of U.S. GDP.
The coastwise contract between PMA and the ILWU covers wages, benefits, and employment conditions for workers at West Coast ports. The current contract took effect in 2014 and, in a landmark agreement, the parties agreed to an extension lasting until July 1, 2022. Given the ongoing supply chain challenges, PMA proposed a further, one-year extension in the fall of 2021. The ILWU declined the offer.